Apr 29, 2014

Lickinghole Creek Magic Beaver

I’ve been enjoying what Goochland’s Lickinghole Creek has been trying to accomplish with their mission — using only their own (or nearby locally grown) barley, hops and other adjuncts. So far, the company has produced some pretty solid offerings, with their Three Chopt Tripel coming in as my favorite of the bunch thus far. Magic Beaver, a 5.5% ABV Belgian-style pale ale, is right in line with the rest of them — and just like the rest of them, it too is also a bit too hoppy for its own good.

I fully appreciate a well hopped version of any beer style, but I’m also a proponent of the traditional. Lickinghole Creek, as with many new American breweries, likes to push the hop profile of their products to the forefront (perhaps a bit too much). When it works, it works and I’ve got no problem with that. The hop presence within Magic Beaver, however, is probably a bit too precocious.

Lickinghole Creek Magic Beaver photo


Orange-ish, rusty copper in color, the beer sits with a short-lived cap of khaki foam.


Fruity yeast, citrus notes, fresh grass, lemon zest and distant bready notes co-mingle cleanly.

Lickinghole Creek Magic Beaver back label


This is definitely a hop-forward example of a Belgian-style pale ale. Citrus, grapefruit, grass and a piny presence combine to lead the way for a peppery yeast character. For only 35 IBU, the brew has a solid bite that lingers for a good long while in the drying finish. A touch of sweetness gently leaves its mark there, as well.


Magic Beaver is a tasty beer. It’s got a good yeast backbone with biscuity malts. It’s well crafted and falls in line with what the brewery has been producing so far and my experiences with those products. It’s just got, for my liking in this style of beer, a bit too much of a hop bite. I’d like there to be a bit more balanced between the elements. Still, that hasn’t stopped me from picking up a few more bottles since these notes were initially written.

Rating: 3.75/5

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